Somerset

M5 in Somerset closed due to ice on road

Avonmouth Bridge Image copyright Highways Agency
Image caption Pictures taken from motorway cameras appear to show the Avonmouth bridge covered in ice

Motorists faced long delays when a large stretch of the M5 in Somerset was closed due to ice.

Both carriageways of the motorway were closed in both directions at around 09:00 GMT after freezing temperatures were recorded overnight.

Police also closed the Avonmouth bridge near Bristol.

The motorway reopened at about 11:30 after gritters were sent out to de-ice the road surface. Congestion is still being reported on some routes.

Highways England said there had been three crashes.

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The police closed the northbound carriageway between junction 21, near Weston-super-Mare and Junction 18, near Bristol.

They also closed the southbound section between junctions 18 and 19 while vehicles were recovered.

Police said there had been one or two "minor prangs" on the Avonmouth bridge which led to its closure, but that the road was gritted overnight.

Queues of traffic stretched for miles in both directions as diversions were put into place.

BBC weather presenter Emily Wood said temperatures had reached freezing or just below in the Bristol area overnight as forecast.

She said: "At present it is still freezing but temperatures should reach around 5 degrees this afternoon before dipping below freezing again overnight."

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